Meet Andy Arevalo, an active runner, personal finance advisor, and one of the group leaders at LaPower Running Club, a Vancouver Chinese-community Running club. Andy had begun running 3 years ago as to lose weight and to clear his negative emotions from a relationship breakdown. After losing more than 20 lbs, and becoming more confident and happy overall, Andy had ran his first full marathon BMO Vancouver Marathon in 2017. It was challenging indeed for him (finish time 4:28). Since then, he has been actively training and had attempted his second full marathon in this year 2018, also the BMO Vancouver Marathon and finished at 3:48. Beside his great improvement in full marathon, Andy has also ran many races/events in all distances, he is also one of the pacers for 2017 Scotia Half in Vancouver. Andy also enjoys other outdoor activities like hiking in the summer/fall and snowboarding in the winter.
You can find Andy online through Instagram and Facebook.
Take us back to the first time you ran in the Vancouver Marathon or Half Marathon. What was it like? How long ago was it? What do you think has changed since then?
I ran the BMO Vancouver Marathon for the first time in 2017. It was my first marathon and I was so excited and worried about it at the same time as I didn’t trained much for it. The course reminded me of the respect that must be paid to the distance, the course is beautiful and I loved the community support. It is also my first time ever to experience the “hitting the wall”, as I have cramps over my legs at the last section of the race (starting from Stanley Park). Nevertheless, it was a milestone in my running journey.
Name a few of your favourite points along our new course. Why do they stand out for you?
I love the start line and all the excitement that it generates. I also really enjoy the view of coming down from UBC to Jericho beach, as you could picked up your speed there. The last 1km exiting from Stanley Park to West Georgia St. is most memorable as that’s the part where most of us were exhausted, and all the cheering and supports from the crowds were so motivating to get you going to cross the finish line..
Running is a great way to see the world. Of all the places you’ve traveled to outside of Vancouver, whether it be for competition or for pleasure, which was your favourite spot to run in and why?
I’ve run mostly in Vancouver, but I have run a few times when I was visiting my hometown Hong Kong last year. I have also run the Rock “N” Roll half marathon in Las Vegas in 2017, and it’s still one of my favourite oversea runs so far, as I enjoyed so much running on the strip, being surrounded by many runners and the crowds.
What is your pre-race routine?
Depending on the distance of the race, but one thing I would do as pre-race routine for all races is to have a cup of coffee and a simple carb meal (Bagel, muffin, toast with peanut butter…etc) to fuel myself.
Pay it forward: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received from a parent, coach, or mentor about running? Or got your own advice? Share it with us!
It’s so tempting to run every single day, or train as hard as you can because you think that is what it takes to be a better runner, most of the time being defined in terms of speed and endurance. However, we should keep in mind that taking rest/break is also as important as finishing the run. A lot of us get injured as a result of going too hard on ourselves. Listen to your body during the run/race or simply during your normal training runs. If you are not feeling comfortable, slow down or simply take a break to regain yourself. Running is a life-long learning experience, don’t rush it, as long as you are devoted, and practice properly, improvement is just around the corner.